It’s not just a new school year at Community Christian School in Fort Dodge — it’s a whole new place to call home.
Built as a place of worship and education based on Christian values in 1962, for decades this brick and mortar building served as Holy Rosary Elementary School. This fall it welcomed students back through its doors as the new home for Community Christian School.
To Margaret Shields, dean of students, it’s a perfect fit and seems divinely inspired.
“We were very happy where we were, we were very thankful that the Evangelical Free Church shared their space with us, but we’re also very glad to have our own space,” she says.
Community Christian, which operates independently, serves 55 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, as well as an additional 38 students in preschool. Stressing strong academics, with traditional Christian values, students and families come from about 20 different churches and denominations throughout the community.
The school is continuing to grow with 12 new families enrolling this fall, and Shields hopes more families will take the time to learn what Community Christian has to offer.
“We’re hoping to have the community consider us a more viable choice,” she says.
She’s already been touched by the welcoming into the community in their new neighborhood on 9-1/2 South. Nearby residents have stopped in and said how glad they are to have a school back in the neighborhood.
“People have really made us feel welcome,” Shields says. “We’ve had many volunteers who have helped paint, clean and move things. People who have been connected with the school in the past have come to help; even a neighbor across the street came and washed windows one day.”
Students and staff are clearly enjoying their new environment and taking advantage of the playground, gym, and, with a full kitchen, the school is now able to serve its own lunches. They have also built a new preschool playground to keep the youngest children safe.
Shields also notes that areas such as the gym are still available for community events.
“The size of the building is just perfect for our needs, and it really fits us to a T,” she concludes.